Paul Hesse's Articles

Company Ordered To Pay More Than $100,000 For Sexual Harassment By Worker

Full Federal Court Sets New Benchmark The Oracle decision in the Full Court of the Federal Court in July 2014 concerned complaints by an employee Rebecca Richardson, that she had been sexually harassed by a fellow employee on a regular basis over a period of some months.  In the court below, a single Judge of […]

Time to review employment agreements

While employers often take great care to ensure that their employment agreements robustly protect their interests, far fewer employers regularly review them to ensure that they are up to date. Where an employee’s role or responsibilities have changed since they were first employed, their employment agreement may become out of date and, in some circumstances, […]

Privacy Act changes – deadline looms

Businesses need to prepare now for changes to the Privacy Act that take effect from 12 March 2014.  Businesses that fail to update their privacy policies and practices will very likely find themselves in breach of the Privacy Act, potentially resulting in fines and orders to pay compensation, and possibly adverse publicity. All businesses with […]

PPSR – time is running out

Businesses need to register by 29 January 2014 to obtain the benefit of the “Transitional Perfection” protection under the Personal Property Security Act.  If your business has interests created prior to 30 January 2012 under:   leasing and hire arrangements (eg if you are the lessor of equipment); retention of title supplies (eg if you are […]

Myths about probationary periods

Sacked for looking too young In a recent case that received widespread media coverage, a real estate agency, Buxton (Sandringham) Pty Ltd, was taken to task by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for sacking a worker who had been employed for just 2 weeks. The employee was told that the reason for her dismissal was […]

Your trading terms & conditions may no longer work

Two new Federal Acts (Personal Property Securities Act, “PPSA” and the Australian Consumer Law, “ACL”) make it important for any business that supplies goods to review and update its terms of trade to obtain greater protection and avoid losing rights it may previously have had.  PPSA If your business sells goods either to other businesses […]

Impact of new Australian Consumer Law on advertising

Riordans Lawyers’ March 2011 Newsletter noted that the new federal Competition and Consumer Act (CCA) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) replaced the Trade Practices Act (TPA) and introduced a number of important changes.  Some of the changes have particular relevance to advertisers and their advertising agencies.  This Information Brief deals with several of those […]

When is a discretionary bonus not discretionary?

Broadly speaking, granting Power of Attorney to another person (grantee) gives the grantee the right to act on behalf of the person who grants the ‘Power’ (grantor). These rights include the power to sign documents on behalf of the grantor. Between family members (particularly between spouses and life partners), Powers of Attorney assist in circumstances […]

Sex files & summary dismissal

A recent decision has highlighted the need for employers to have robust internet and computer use policies in place. In a recent Victorian County Court decision, an employee, Keith Watson, sought damages against his employer, Swatch Group (Australia) Pty Ltd, for distress as a result of allegedly being directed to engage in price fixing against […]

Don’t get trapped by emails & texts

A recent court battle highlights the dangers of documenting ‘thoughts’ and ‘feelings’ in business emails and text messages that should be the matter of private conversations.